Germany’s President Christian Wulff said Sunday that his country has a "responsibility" toward Israel’s security, during talks with Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres.

"Germany considers that it has a responsibility concerning Israel’s right to exist and to security," said Wulff, Germany’s first head of state to be born after World War II.

He stressed, however, that Israel’s long-term security can only be guaranteed through peace based on an independent Palestinian nation living side by side with Israel.

The German president, who began an 3-day official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories on Saturday, made his remarks at a news conference after talks with Peres.

Wulff will also meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and President Mahmoud Abbas.

On Sunday he also visited Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, erected for the six million Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust.

The two countries established full diplomatic relations in 1965 and Germany is now one of Israel’s closest partners in Europe. Wulff, 51, is the fifth German president to pay an official visit to Israel.

Source: AFP